B2B - Networking and Workshops

Taste RealOM works to not only connect producers with their consumers, but supports and connects local businesses, farms and producers who are passionate about local food and want to grow their knowledge and base.

Events we have hosted in the past:

  • Local Food Marketing Workshop
  • Local Food Workshop and Networking Evening
  • Social Media Workshop
  • Source It Here
  • and more!

We attend and promote partners as well through various events such as:

  • The Eco Market
  • Guelph Organic Conference
  • Grow Your Food Co. Event
  • Guelph Film Festival
  • Toronto Garlic Festival
  • Wellington County International Plowing Match
  • Bala Cranberry Festival
  • and more

Stay tuned as we organize more local business to business events.

See below for information on the 2016 Source It Here event:

8th Annual Source It Here! Local Food Networking Event

Monday February 8, 2016

#SiH2016  |  @tastereal  |  @FoodlinkBLBF

There will be a limited number of tickets available at the door. Cash or cheque only. Registration starts at 10:00am.

About Source It Here

Are you a farmer, local food retailer, chef, distributor, food processor or operate a business in the local food value chain?

Do you source local food?

Are you interested in starting or increasing local food purchasing?

Do you want to meet and network other stakeholders in the local food value chain?

Do you offer a service, training, or funding to local food and farm businesses?

Taste Real Guelph Wellington Local Food and Foodlink Waterloo Region invite you to join the conversation about local food in our region, make new business connections and learn about opportunities to grow your business.



 Guest Speakers

Keynote: Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, University of Guelph

The Business Case for Local Food: From the Margins to the Mainstream

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is Professor in the College of Business and Economics. He has authored almost 200 peer-reviewed publications in his career. His research has been featured in a number of newspapers, including The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy and the Globe & Mail. He has written four books, and many policy reports. Dr. Charlebois is a member of the Global Food Traceability Centre's Advisory Board based in Washington DC, and a member of the National Advisory Board of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Ottawa. He has testified on several occasions before parliamentary committees on food policy-related issues as an expert witness. He has been asked to act as an advisor on food and agricultural policies in many Canadian provinces, and in more than 10 countries. He has been a visiting professor in Brazil, China, Finland and Austria.

Awards and Honours:

2012 - Emerald Lit Award for Highly Commended Research

2008 - Emerald Lit Award for Highly Commended Research


Julia Gilmore, Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance

Leveraging Food Tourism to Grow Your Business

In her role as the Feast ON and Food Tourism Program Manager at the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance, Julia travels the province and beyond working to create unique food experiences and programs that will become demand generators for communities and regions.

Julia was instrumental in developing the Experience Assessment Tool (EAT™) and recently contributed to the creation of The Rise of Food Tourism, a trend report created by NYC based travel intelligence brand Skift.  In 2015, she was recognized with the "Top 30 Under 30" award from the Ontario Hostelry Institute (OHI).


Mark Kenny

Mark Kenny is the Procurement Manager with Hospitality Services at The University of Guelph.  He has worked in the Hospitality industry since day one and is passionate about local food, people and places.

Mark's love for local has allowed him to be truly dedicated and involved with many unique projects and organizations in the region.  One of those organizations, Taste Real - Guelph Wellington Local Food, appointed him to be their first Local Food Ambassador in February 2012.

His motto is Eat Well. Laugh Often.

Follow his #localfood stories on Twitter @100milemark.

 Panel Speakers

Connecting the Dots: Partners in Food

A conversation with local food entrepreneurs.



Ben Sachse, Elora Brewing Co. Restaurant:

Ben is the Owner and Head-chef of the Elora Brewing Co. Restaurant.  Having graduated from the Stratford Chef School in 2008, his initial skills and food philosophies were honed under chefs who very much drove home the importance of the origin and story of one's ingredients.  At such places as Rundle's in Stratford, Stone Road Grille in NOTL, Oviinbyrd Golf and Country Club in Muskoka, and a year spent in the Japanese countryside at DelCook's of Osaka, his experiences have left him grounded in the belief that a Cook's responsibility reaches beyond cooking for the plate, that with improved ability and influence come greater responsibility as an educator and advocate for local sustainability and global thinking.

With his wife Sonia, a successful artisanale sourdough bread baker originally from Fergus, Ben settled in Centre Wellington, Wellington County because they are both very much drawn to the area's unparalleled abundance of farmers, producers, and crafts-people.  Since the Elora Brewing Co's opening in August of 2015, he has had to overcome some of the inevitable challenges presented by focusing on a farm-to-tale model of menu creation.


Leslie Zinger, Top Market Meats:

Leslie Zinger along with husband Jeff and two jr. farmers Lizzy and Johnny are the farmers of Top Market Meats that is located in Ariss, just outside of Guelph. Jeff and Leslie purchased the 80 acre family farm 12 years ago and decided to bring it back to tradition with the diversity of livestock just like how Jeff's great, great grandparents ran the farm.  Sticking with traditional farming practices with a modern flair of pasture raised and grass grazed, this farming family raises pigs, lamb, goats, chickens, turkeys, duck, goose and rabbits. Top Market Meats sells 100% directly to local customers at 7 farmers' markets, 5 restaurants, 3 farm grocery stores and at the farm store located on the family farm.

This former city girl now farmer has earned her title with pride and is proud to be a local farmer.


Jackie Fraser, Fraberts Fresh Food:

Jackie Fraser owns Fraberts Fresh Food in Fergus along with her husband Chef Derek Roberts.  Jackie has been a local food enthusiast since she was young, growing up on a dairy farm in Huttonville and working at local farm markets.  Jackie was a proud Aggie at the University of Guelph, graduating with an M.Sc. in Land Resources Management.  She worked in environmental consulting and as Executive Director for "Agricultural Groups Concerned about Resources and the Environment", better known as AGCare, before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship.Jackie and Derek opened Fraberts in May of 2008 - two weeks before the arrival of their first daughter, Charlotte.  Eighteen months later, just before Christmas, her sister Emily was born and somehow the family and the local food retail store have grown and thrived!


Josh Whitehead, Green Table Foods:

Josh Whitehead is the founder of Green Table Foods, a certified organic food processing company based in Guelph, Ontario. He has designed and brought to market over twenty products for various brands, many available nation-wide.

Green table Foods was the recipient of a 2015 Innovation Award, and continues to develop new staples for the Canadian grocery sector.


Mark and Cindy Gerber, Oakridge Acres:

Mark and Cindy Gerber operate Oakridge Acres Country Meat Store located on their farm just outside of Ayr. Here, they raise Black Angus beef and grass-fed bison from their own herd, along with a variety of drug/hormone free meat products from other local farms including omega 3 chicken, pork, lamb, turkey, buffalo, wild boar, rabbit, and seafood. In addition to meat, they also carry a selection of our community's harvest such as fresh local produce, fine cheeses and dairy products, home baking, heritage preserves, honey and a line of frozen entrees made on site. Consumers support over 40 local farmers and producers by shopping at Oakridge Acres. The Gerber's approach to farming is simple - by creating a healthy living environment and using home-grown feed (hay and grains) they can produce healthier animals.


Dr. Susan Durant:

Dr. Durant was the first female naturopathic doctor in the region.

She and her family are long term customers of Oakridge Acres. She also sends many of her patients to Oakridge.

Her office was located in Kitchener for years and she just recently moved to Cambridge. Her practice is Durant Naturopathic Clinic.


Keirra Reid, Little Mushroom Catering:

Little Mushroom is a full service catering company located in Cambridge that uses fresh, local ingredients to make the best from-scratch products. They believe in building a community with their suppliers and clients while offering creative, customized menus.

Keirra Reid is the Chef de Cuisine at Little Mushroom Catering. She's started with the company as junior sous chef in 2011 and has worked her way up to managing all of the daily operations of the kitchen including ordering & menu planning. Keirra can often be found at community events and fundraisers. She also sits on the Board of Directors for Foodlink Waterloo Region and prides herself in building relationships with Little Mushroom suppliers and local farmers. Little Mushroom regularly sources from Mountainoak Cheese, Oakridge Acres and Top Market Meats.


Julie Clarke, Mountainoak Cheese:

Mountainoak Cheese is a farmstead Gouda cheese-making company located in New Hamburg. Owners Adam & Hannie van Bergeijk were already a cheese makers in the Netherlands before coming to Canada in 1996. Their small, personal production evolved into Mountainoak Cheese, a modern, state-of-the-art facility that allows the van Bergeijks to continue the tradition of Gouda-style cheeses made with fresh milk from their own dairy cows, which is sent directly to their cheese plant. They plant their own seeds, care for and harvest their own crops. By producing their cheese right on the farm, they are able to be involved in every step of the process while minimizing their environmental footprint. Each cheese is naturally aged, bringing out the best characteristics of the milk and the work that has gone into each step.

Julie Clarke is the Marketing Manager at Mountainoak. A strong advocate of local food, she assists in diverse areas within the company and continues to learn about the challenges that face local producers such as production costs, distribution, marketing and more.

 Ask The Expert Conversations with our speakers
Any questions left unanswered? During this session you have the opportunity to have a conversation with our speakers directly. The Trade Show will be open during this time.

Media Release

Annual Source It Here Event to Focus on the Value of Local Food and the Importance of Food Industry Partnerships

Registered Marketplace Participants

Please review the unloading details prior to the event. Registration opens at 10:00am


Loyola House
Ignatius Jesuit Centre
5426 Hwy 6 N
Guelph, ON  N1H 6J2

Please allow 10-15 minutes for parking. You may have to park in one of the additional parking lots on site.

  Directions    Google Maps


Taste Real Guelph Wellington logo  Foodlink Waterloo Region logo

Growing Forward 2, AMI, Ontario, and Canada logos

Hospitality Services University of Guelph  Wellington Waterloo Community Futures logo  Butter Tarts and Buggies logo  Wellington North Simply Explore logo

Product Sponsors and Supporters

Morton Wholesale logo  Heartland Farm Mutual logo

© 2023 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909